Dec 02, 2022  
2013-2014 General Catalog 
2013-2014 General Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

French Studies, M.A.


The MA goal is to ensure written and oral competence and breadth of coverage in French and Francophone literature and culture.

A. MA distribution requirements

(15 credit hours out of the 36 total credit hours required for the degree). For their 21 elective credit hours, students should follow a curriculum designed to meet their particular needs and to suit their special interests. This curriculum will be developed by the student in consultation with the director of graduate studies and the student’s major professor and/or MA examining committee.

Students shall take at least one course from each of the following five areas:

B. MA exams format

An essential component of the MA exam is the reading list, which will be the basis of the written exam (in French). The reading list will comprise four essential primary (literary) texts plus one essential secondary (critical) text for each of the five core areas listed above (for a total of 25 texts). A standard (“default”) list, drawn up by professors who specialize in the core areas, will be provided by the department. Students may choose to use the standard list or, in consultation with their major professor and/or MA examining committee, to substitute works of their choice for any or all of the works on the standard list.

  1. Non-thesis option: 36 regular course credit hours are required (no more than half at the 4000-level) required.
    The student will complete two 2500-word written essays in French in response to two questions related to the student’s reading list.
    The questions will be determined by the student’s major professor in consultation with the student’s MA Examining Committee.
    • The student has four days to research and write each essay (eight days total).
    • Oral exam: The student will discuss the two written exams with the examining committee. During the oral part of the exam, the committee may ask questions about any authors or works included on the student’s reading list.
  2. Thesis option: 30 regular course credit hours (no more than half at the 4000-level) plus six hours of FREN 8000 Thesis Research (1-12 per sem.)  and a 50-75 page (including bibliography) master’s thesis are required The Thesis may be written in French or English.
    Oral exam:
    1. Oral defense of the thesis with the examining committee
    2. Discussion of an oral question, selected by the examining committee and given to the student 24 hours prior to the oral exam. During the oral exam, the committee may ask questions about any authors or problems included on the student’s reading list.

Ideally, the non-thesis option exam should be taken in the fourth semester of study, the thesis option exam in the fifth semester of study.